If you’re in need of some delicious cooking inspiration and a pinch of cross-cultural adventure to lift your spirits, we have the perfect thing for you.
Hoteliers-in-training and staff at the Leura campus of the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) at Torrens University Australia have come together to make an original cookbook of their favourite recipes, in partnership with Sala Bai Hotel School in Cambodia.
The cookbook features fifty easy-to-make recipes from fifteen different countries, including entrees, mains and desserts. Your next dinner party could be a culinary world tour, with each course bringing a different culture into your kitchen.
A small sample of the mouth-watering recipes submitted by students and staff include:
- Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beef Stew)
- Martabak Telor (Indonesian Savoury Pancake)
- Pierogi z Kapustai Grzybami (Polish Dumpling)
- Salmon Fillet with Ramen Noodles
- Bahn Troi (Vietnamese Sticky Rice Ball)
- Melktert (Milk Tart from South Africa and Namibia)
- Italian Chocolate Ricotta Cake
- La Flamiche aux Poireaux (French Leek Tart)
The cookbook also features some of the most popular dishes served at the Chambers fine dining restaurant in Leura, our fantastic BMIHMS student-operated training restaurant.
How the cookbook was created
Making a BMIHMS cookbook was sparked by Nao Ogura, a student and Student Representative Council (SRC) member from Japan now in her final year of a Bachelor of Business, International Hotel and Resort Management. BMIHMS is an incredibly culturally diverse school with students from over118different countries. So, when Nao had the idea of compiling a cookbook, it was only natural to invite students to submit recipes from their home countries.
“Living with people from different cultures is one of the benefits of studying at BMIHMS, and choosing hospitality means choosing a very international career.” said Nao.
“When we welcome guests in the hotel and hospitality context, it is one the most critical things to understand cultural differences and diversity. Understanding differences allows us to do our best to meet guests expectations and to go beyond them.”
Nao’s passion for travel, food and hospitality led her towards a career in hotels and to BMIHMS. It came as no surprise that she pursued the cookbook project with the same level of enthusiasm as she has for food.
”Food makes me interested in other cultures, opens my eyes, which results in being able to see the world in a broader way. Japanese, Thai and Mexican are some of my favourite cuisines, and many more. I would like to explore even more cuisines, because it is so exciting to feel like you’re travelling without physically traveling.”
The cookbook project was partly inspired by the long separation from family and friends and colleagues as a result of the pandemic. "It's a way of bringing the BMIHMS student community back again."
“One of the biggest enjoyments in our daily routine is eating. Also, for those of us students who live far from family, home-cooking makes people feel like they are home. When I thought that I would like to create something to celebrate our cultural diversity on campus, I started this cookbook project.”
Staff and students working together
Nao believed the exchange of recipes and the stories behind them would be the perfect way for students and staff to learn about each other.
“I decided to advertise the project and invite people to submit recipes, emailing nearly 100 staff and students in the school. I received forty-two responses, and I am very grateful to everyone for completing the project with me, including people who donated to Sala Bai Hotel School.”
“BMIHMS is so culturally diverse… creating a cookbook with recipes that are close to the students’ and staffs’ hearts was a great way to enhance the connection and understanding between cultures.The completed cookbook shows our cultural diversity, and it's great to see the background story of recipes.”
Supporting Sala Bai and hospitality training for those in poverty
This fantastic cookbook is completely free and can be downloaded right here. However, Sala Bai do need your support to do their amazing community work in providing hospitality training to those in poverty stricken countryside of Cambodia. This work opens up new doors to employment opportunities and the chance of a brighter future to those who need it most. We encourage anyone who downloads the cookbook to make a donation.